Strong Start Continues for 2024 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend

(DULUTH, MINN.) — Almost five months ahead of last year’s pace, the 2024 William A. Irvin officially reached a sellout on the Friday after Thanksgiving, it was announced today.

More than 2,600 participants have signed up for the kickoff event to Grandma’s Marathon weekend, which last year sold out in late April. In both 2018 and 2019, the event reached its sellout status in mid-December, which were the earliest dates on record at the time.

“It’s wonderful to see this kind of interest in our 5K distance because we feel, for a lot of the people signed up, it’s a building block,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “Not everyone feels they can complete a marathon or half marathon, but we encourage those people to try our shorter distance events because oftentimes it can build their confidence to a place where those other races don’t feel so scary.”

The 2023 William A. Irvin 5K, which was also the 30th annual, had a registered field of more than 2,700 and ended up as the largest in the event’s history with 2,153 finishers.

Each year, 1,200 of the entries available into the William A. Irvin 5K come through the Great Grandma’s Challenge, which allows participants to complete both the 5K and either the half or full marathon in the same weekend. The 5K-half marathon combo is currently sold out (700 total entries), while there are 75 spots still available for the 5K-full marathon combo (500 total entries).

In addition to the Great Grandma’s Challenge option, participants still interested in signing up for the 2024 William A. Irvin 5K have the following option:

Charity Partners — Participants can register through one of our 2024 Charity Partners. When a participant has reached the fundraising goal – set by each organization – they will receive a free entry into the 2024 event of their choice. Available charity entries vary by organization.

Today’s news continues a strong start to the 2024 registration cycle for Grandma’s Marathon – the full marathon currently has fewer than 2,500 entries available and is on a pace two months ahead of last year, while the half marathon reached a sellout in less than 100 hours, its fastest since 2018.

For more information or to register for one of the 2024 events, please visit



Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. After seeing just 150 participants that year, the race weekend has now grown into one of the largest in the United States and welcomes more than 20,000 participants for its three-race event each June.

The race got its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma’s Restaurants, the first major sponsor of the marathon. In addition to the 26.2-mile race, the organization has now added the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and William A. Irvin 5K to its weekend offerings.

As the popularity of Grandma’s Marathon has grown, our mission has stayed the same – to organize, promote, and deliver annual events and programs that cultivate running, educational, social, and charitable opportunities to our communities.

Grandma’s Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a nine-person, full-time staff and a 17-member Board of Directors.